Figment Dallas is becoming more of a reality by the day. Nearly 350 people showed up to the first fundraising effort in January and helped the egalitarian interactive art festival get close to the goal needed to fund the Oct. 20 event.
Now Suza Kanon, Figment Dallas’ producer and figurehead, has gathered more than 50 local artists for a second fundraiser aimed at making the interactive event a lasting part of the Dallas art scene.
“You have people that are art professors, you have people that own galleries, you have people that are involved in some of the largest art collectives in the city,” Kanon says of the artists who contributed to Figment Dallas. “To see everybody pitching in a little bit and giving us that support, it’s very uplifting.”
The fundraiser is March 31 at WAAS Gallery and will feature a 5x7 art race, silent auction, and workshops and installations indicative of Figment. As part of the art race, local artists such as Patricia Rodriguez, Amber Campagna and Mark Kaplan have created 5x7 works of art that will be available for purchase during the event’s final hour. The pieces up for grabs during the art race will all be listed at $100, and a donation of $10 is suggested for entry.
“We’re really encouraging people to see this as an opportunity to donate,” Kanon says. “If you want to participate in the art race and collect a 5x7 piece of artwork, it would be because you made a donation. Nothing is really being sold. It’s really just an opportunity to allow people to feel like they can take part and take ownership and cultivate this Figment event so that it’s something we can do every year.”
Kanon says this month's event will focus more on the art as opposed to its spectacle. The traditional gallery auction theme is a way of highlighting the curated aspect of Figment as well as its inclusiveness. But no Figment event would be complete without participatory art, such as inflatable immersive sculpture, sound mediation and emerging media exhibits, which will be the crux of the event later this fall.
“Outside, it’s going to be very similar to what people saw at our first fundraiser,” Kanon says. “We’re kind of giving them a little sneak peek preview of what Figment can be.”
Figment, founded in 2007, has independent events in more than a dozen cities around the world. Inspired in part by Burning Man’s ideals of participation and community, Figment founder David Koren’s dream of a participatory art event, free of both financial and cultural barriers as well as corporate sponsors, was designed to spread.
“We learned to make the event scalable, and really we can create a figment event with any number of people who come forward and say I want to do this,” Koren said in a 2011 TEDx Talk. “It’s really about people coming out with their passions and sharing with their community.”
Kanon says she's looking forward to working alongside her team of local volunteers at the fundraiser. She says the event will be a test run for the Figment Dallas team and will pay dividends later this October.
“It’s really about breaking down that fourth wall," Kanon says. "We’re so used to being observers, so to have a day where you give yourself permission to come and engage and to play and to interact with the artwork where it is made with that purpose.”
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